Audios & Videos on Taiwan History
The NMTH has received generous donations of audio and video materials relating to the period of Japanese rule and the postwar years. These have all been well restored and published, making an impact on the TV and film industries, as well as academia. The NMTH has also reached out to institutions which preserve audio and video items relating to Taiwan, such as the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, so as to access these materials and sign collaboration agreements. Visitors will soon be able to browse through these audio and video materials.
- 1.Digitization of Film Reels at the NMTH
The NMTH holds 175 reels of early theater films and 138 screening licenses. The museum has also received videotapes from members of the public. Upon restoration and digitization, these materials have been republished. The first, released in 2008, is Colonial Japanese Documentaries on Taiwan, which includes four documentaries made during the Japanese era: Marching Southward to Taiwan, Civil Dojo, Taiwan Youth Corp for the Nation, and a silent propaganda piece about the Chianan Irrigation System entitled Blissful Farmers. The second is All Taiwan: 1930s Taiwan Documentaries (released in DVD format in 2018), which includes All Taiwan, Safeguarding Taiwan and Announcement Rite and Great Rite for the Completion of the Garden of Tainan Shrine. The library has also acquired a 16mm film entitled Showa 12 (1937) Houlong Public School Annual Sports Day.
Colonial Japanese Documentaries on Taiwan: Restored Images of the Japanese Rule by the National Museum of Taiwan History. Tainan: National Museum of Taiwan History, 2008.
Taiwan Panorama: Selected Videos on Taiwan in the 1930s. Tainan: National Museum of Taiwan History, 2018.
- 2.Taiwan-Related Audio and Video Materials at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies: Digitization of Asai Erin’s Documentations
The library holds Taiwan-related data collected by the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Most of the material was gathered during the period of Japanese rule by linguist Asai Erin (1895-1969), who conducted research in various parts of Taiwan. This collection includes more than 2,100 photos, 255 recordings in MP3 format, and 18 silent videos. To browse audio and video items collected by Asai Erin, please find a stand-alone computer terminal inside the library.
Asai Erin made extensive recordings of conversations and songs in indigenous languages in the 1930s, mostly in the mountainous areas of Chiayi, Tainan, and Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. The indigenous groups included Tsou, Siraya, Taivoan, Bunun, Kanakanavu, Hla’alua, Rukai in what is now Kaohsiung’s Maolin District, and Rukai in Wutai in Pingtung. He also made recordings in eastern Taiwan of indigenous groups including the Amis, Kavalan, and Yami (alternatively called the Tao, who live on Orchid Island, also known as Lanyu). Some other recordings documented the lives of Taukat (sometimes spelled Taokas) and SaySiyat (often rendered Saisiyat) peoples in present-day Hsinchu and Miaoli, as well as speakers of Basay in Yilan. Asai Erin aimed to preserve endangered languages through field research on singing and folk rites. Many of those songs and rites have been lost or have greatly changed. Thus, Asai Erin’s work is not only of great academic value, but also highly meaningful when it comes to reviving indigenous cultures.
An indigenous psychic and her altar in front of a kuwa (a house of worship) at Toushe, in modern-day Tainan’s Danei District. Photo by Asai Erin, 1930.